Wednesday, September 27, 2006

STRIKER Raul Gonzalez ended his 11-month scoring drought for Real Madrid in a big way

Injured for much of last season, Raul scored twice in Real Madrid's 5-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev Tuesday in the Champions League to become the tournament's all-time scoring leader with 53 goals.

The goal moved him one ahead of Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko, who has played most of his career at AC Milan.

Ruud van Nistelrooy also scored two goals for Madrid in the Group E game, improving his Champions League total to 49. Spain winger Jose Antonio Reyes scored the other against Dynamo, which played with 10 men after goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy was sent off on a straight red card in the 68th.

Lyon, which beat Real Madrid 2-0 two weeks ago, picked up another victory to head Group E, winning 3-0 at Steaua Bucharest. Brazil striker Fred scored for Lyon in the 43rd, Tiago netted 10 minutes into the second half, and Karim Benzema made it 3-0 in the 89th.

"I had no emotions, they were too good for us," Steaua owner Gigi Becali said. "After 15 minutes, I realized that even if we played 100 years we couldn't score against them."

Meanwhile, Arsenal had a 2-0 win over FC Porto.

In Arsenal's victory, Thierry Henry and Alexander Hleb scored. Henry scored in the 38th with a rare header, and Belarus midfielder Hleb made it 2-0 in the 48th from 15m after clever passes from William Gallas and Henry.

Gallas limped off with a hamstring injury in the last few minutes, but manager Arsene Wenger tried to be optimistic.

"It looked serious (initially), but at the moment we are reassured because it does not look too bad," Wenger said.

Wenger also warned that his team is quickly improving.

"We are getting stronger and stronger," he said. "We are sharp and we always looked dangerous, and I feel it has a lot of potential and we are getting better by the game."

Arsenal, last season's runner-up to FC Barcelona, leads Group G with six points in two games. Porto has one point.

Brazilian defender Dudu headed in a 59th-minute goal in CSKA Moscow's 1-0 win against Hamburg. CSKA has four points and the Germans have lost their first two games.

Manchester United won its second straight game in Group F, beating Benfica 1-0 on Louis Saha's 60th-minute goal. Saha evaded two Benfica defenders to score from the corner of the penalty box.

Benfica has one point from a 0-0 draw against Copenhagen two weeks ago.

Celtic picked up its first victory in the group stage, beating Copenhagen 1-0 on Kenny Miller's 36th-minute penalty. Celtic has three points in Group F and Copenhagen has one point from two games.

Miller converted the penalty after Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura was tripped in the area by Michael Gravgaard at Celtic Park.

Six-time champion AC Milan slogged to a 0-0 draw against Lille in Lens. Milan has four points to top Group H and Lille has two.

Milan's best chances fell to Brazil midfielder Kaka and Italy striker Alberto Gilardino, while Lille's Ivory Coast winger, Abdul Kader Keita, often troubled Milan's defense.

Nicolas Frutos gave Anderlecht a 1-0 lead in the 25th, but Julio Cesar equalized three minutes later. Anderlecht has two points in two games and AEK has one point from two.

Today's games: Group A: Levski vs. Chelsea, Werder Bremen vs. Barcelona. Group B: Spartak Moscow vs. Sporting Lisbon, Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich. Group C: Liverpool vs. Galatasaray, Bordeaux vs. PSV Eindhoven. Group D: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Olympiakos, Valencia vs. AS Roma.


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